199522 Western New York Parents' Knowledge Levels and Attitudes towards HPV and the HPV Vaccine

Monday, November 9, 2009

Katharine Dobson, BS , Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Cheryl Higbee , School of Public Health- Department of Epidemiology, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
Andrew Hyland, PhD , Department of Health Behavior, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Martin Mahoney, MD, PhD , Department of Cancer Prevention, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY
Background: HPV is one of the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases. Few studies have been conducted to determine the levels of knowledge and awareness of HPV, perceived benefits of and barriers to the vaccine, and adoption of the available HPV vaccine in specific populations.

Methods: 1305 Western New York adults aged 18+ completed a random digit dial phone survey between January and March 2008. 325 participants were parents, with a total of 280 daughters ages 9 to 17. Survey items included respondent/family demographics, awareness and knowledge of HPV, and perceived benefits of, barriers to, and adoption rate of the vaccine. Analysis was mainly descriptive in nature.

Results: 29% of daughters age 9 to 17 have received the HPV vaccine. 35% of parents intended to have their daughters vaccinated. Parents whose daughters were vaccinated were more likely to have health insurance, have had an abnormal pap smear in the past, and to believe the vaccine is safe. Among those who did not intend to vaccinate their daughters, 59% reported that they would consider it if recommended by their physician. 83% of those noting no intention of vaccinating their daughters thought it was important that the vaccine would not influence their daughters' sexual behavior.

Conclusion: HPV vaccination rates among WNY parents appear generally consistent with national trends to date. Increasing awareness and knowledge about both the impact of HPV infections and the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, together with physician recommendations, may help increase rates of HPV vaccination in WNY.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the knowledge and awareness levels of HPV, perceived benefits of and barriers to the HPV vaccine, and adoption rate of the HPV vaccine among parents of girls age 9 to 17 in Western New York.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student and candidate for a Masters in Public Health at the University at Buffalo, and do research as a pre-doctoral trainee at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.